DETROIT (AP) A new report says Detroit Public Schools, under its new leadership, is headed in the right direction in education reform.

The report to be released yesterday by New Detroit Inc. said schools CEO Kenneth Burnley deserved high marks for revamping business operations but now needed to focus on boosting student achievement.

“The overall tenor of the report is that the district has moved in the right direction and, it seems, is on its way toward where we want to be,” New Detroit President Shirley Stancato said in a letter to the community included in the report.

The report is based on interviews with school board members, administrators and 245 principals, the Detroit Free Press reported for a story yesterday. It was commissioned by New Detroit, researched by a team from Michigan State University and paid for largely by the Skillman Foundation, with help from New Detroit and Michigan State University.

It gave general recommendations on improving achievement, safety, community involvement, professional development and data management.

Researchers and representatives from the district were expected discuss the report yesterday at Stellwagen Elementary School.

Stan Childress, spokesman for the Detroit schools, said the report was an important tool for the district.

“We want people to know that reforms are going forward,” Childress said.

One of the city”s most influential groups, New Detroit works to build consensus among community, business, academic and political leaders to improve residents” economic well-being, public education and race relations.

The report was the 17th issued by New Detroit Inc. since 1990. It was the first to measure the effects of changes implemented since the Legislature disbanded the elected school board in 1999.

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